I wanted to write a blog post a few weeks ago about Thieves blend, because everyone started getting sick with Covid and the flu and whatever else was in the air. Seemed like a good idea…. then I got busy and even I didn’t feel all that great. Time goes by and there are tons of posts everywhere…from Pappas on Facebook etc., about the blend. So, I am thinking, why bother. He’s the expert, and I will defer to him. The only problem with that is the fact that it is so technical…. just takes the joy out of it. He said “This drop may weigh more than that drop”….I personally can’t be that challenged.
A word about the blend though…I hate the aroma of clove. To me, it overpowers everything else. Cinnamon, I love, and the other oils, lemon, eucalyptus, and rosemary, in the blend are ok…. but this is not my favorite blend.
Let’s look at the oils
Clove bud (Eugenia caryophyllata)
Dating back to the third century, cloves were one of the first spices noted in history. The evergreen tree, in the Myrtaceae family, that produces the flower buds is the Syzygium aromaticum. In the oil of clove, the main constituent, eugenol is 73-97% depending on if the bud or leaf essential oil is used. Rubbing a whole clove on the gum near an infected tooth or for a toothache will numb the area–that is the analgesic effect of the spice.
Robert Tisserand’s 2nd edition on Essential Oil Safety has 3-4 pages written on the safety of Eugenol. In clove bud @ 74-97% and clove leaf @ 77-88%, it is important to know how to safely use clove essential oils.
Lemon, (Citrus limon) used a lot in aromatherapy for cleaning surfaces. I wrote an extensive piece on lemon in my ezine for summer. Check it out in the products page.
Cinnamon which I love but again is overpowering like clove oil. Cinnamon bark oil can be “hot” so it is very important to dilute it properly. Start low and slow.
Eucalyptus and rosemary have the active ingredient 1,8-cineole which is why I don’t use thieves so much….the constituent is not safe for asthmatics.
According to review in Frontiers in Plant Science, Pandemics and Traditional Plant-Based Remedies. A Historical-Botanical Review in the Era of COVID19–
“A remedy named “the four thieves vinegar” was very popular: it consisted in several herbs, such as angelica (Angelica archangelica), camphor (Cinnamomum camphora), cloves (Syzygium aromaticum), garlic (Allium sativum), marjoram (Origanum majorana), meadowsweet (Filipendula ulmaria), wormwood (Artemisia absinthium), and sage (Salvia officinalis), brewed in vinegar (Gattefosse, 1937). Before going out, people should apply it on hands and face for avoiding to contract the plague.”
In 2009, oseltamivir (Tamiflu®) a drug derived from the species Ilicium verum (star anise, from family Schisandraceae) was also crucial to treat most severe cases, although the production of this compound is limited by the low productivity of the tree, and synthetic derivatives are being developed (Macip, 2020).
One historical reference has people eating more onions for cold and flu, look up an oxymel: apple cider vinegar, honey and garlic.
Remember to wash your hands!